WildWorks is an interactive entertainment company that creates fun, unique and imaginative games for kids. The company’s brilliant game design, audience expertise and dedication to ethical online commerce ensures that children and their parents feel safe and happy during playtime. WildWorks is focused on producing content that can be considered “purposeful play.” To date, one of their most popular brands is “Animal Jam,” an online community that blends gameplay and avatars with educational content created in association with National Geographic. Animal Jam is appealing to kids who love #Animals and the outdoors; the brand has seen astronomical growth since its inception.

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It is currently one of the largest online social games for children in the world, connecting more than 50 million registered users globally. Clark Stacey is the CEO of WildWorks. He has more than 20 years of experience in #Video Game development and he presently employs 130 developers and support staff via his Salt Lake City and Amsterdam studio locations. Recently, Clark spoke about his experiences working in the toy industry and his hopes for the future:

Origins and popularity  

Blasting News (BN): When was Animal Jam started and why was that specific name chosen?

Clark Stacey (CS): It launched in 2010 and we chose the name as a way to reflect that it was an animal-centric experience that's fun.

BN: Overall, how many characters are included in the world of this brand? 

CS: The world of Jamaa is constantly evolving, just like the natural world.

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There are more than 35 animals that kids can play as in Animal Jam, and more than 40 various pets they can adopt.

BN: Right now, how many items are being offered as toys? 

CS: We have a line of plush, blind-box collectables, figurines and play sets, available at Walmart stores nationwide via Jazwares.

BN: To date, has one character proven to be especially popular?  

CS: The bunny, in its various forms of toys, has been a huge success.

Ideas and rewards 

BN: How do you think up ideas for your characters and products? 

CS: We do industry research into what animals are favorites among kids as well as keep a pulse on what animals are popular culturally. For example, in the past year, we've launched both a llama and a sloth – two animals that have seen great popularity in the social landscape.

BN: To date, what has been the most rewarding part of working with Animal Jam?

CS: Inspiring kids to be our future ambassadors for the life sciences has been by far the most rewarding aspect of working with this brand.

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Kids are genuinely excited to learn about animals and what they can do to help protect the world around them.

Future and advice 

BN: Where do you hope Animal Jam will be in 10 years? Essentially, how do you for envision your product line expanding? 

CS: It will continue to grow as a leader in science-based entertainment. From gaming to toys to TV, we have a lot in the works to keep kids excited about the brand. 

BN: What advice would you give to someone who is striving to enter the toy and game industry?

CS: Create with purpose. Anyone can create games or toys, but what is the real value behind what you're selling?